1580 AD. Year Thirty of the reign of the Cakkavatti.
Though the tiger grows old, his hunger does not leave him. It grows with age, driving him to fresh hunting grounds and giving him a taste for more dangerous prey!
For thirty years, I have ruled Burma and made a dozen kings bow before me. But what will they say of my life? That I ruled by the sword and killed many men? That I, a King, was a slave to my desire? The Old Tiger is stubborn but he knows when his hunger has gotten the best of him.
My sons lead the army to conquer the Rakhine coast; the gateway to India. They are like their father once, chasing in vain across the earth for their greatest victory...
- Bayinnaung (Burmese) is the aging king of Burma. During the first part of the scenario they control the two bases later given to the player and when Bayinnung himself (in this scenario a renamed Bui Bi) is medidating he is taken over and thus immobile and vulnerable.
- Mrauk U (Burmese) is the capital of Rakhine and serves decorative purposes in the form of various buildings.
- Rakhine (Malay) is the Rakhine army. They have many units (mostly Battle Elephants, Karambit Warriors and Rattan Archers, but also some War Galleys)and some Castles in the southwestern part of the map but also serve as garrison for the main city. They don't seem to attack unless provoked.
- Rakhine (Malay) is the second defense ring of the capital. They train mostly infantry.
- Rakhine (Vietnamese) is the outer defense ring of the capital. They train mostly Rattan Archers and cavalry Archers, but also Battle Elephants and Siege Weapons.
- Portuguese (Portuguese) occupy the center of the capital. Their army consists of Two-Handed Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Arbalesters, Conquistadores, Condottieri, Hand Cannoneers, Organ Guns, and Monks. They also build a navy.
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At the start, you have limited resources to overcome an unlimited stream of foes. On top of that, you have 2 heroes which cannot die, lest you forfeit the scenario. You cannot make new units, and you have to besiege a number of castles while fighting archers that will try to kite you, all while protecting Bayinnaung as he moves from one meditation point to the next. You'll have enemies coming at you from all sides, and you cannot devote the time to a slow and careful approach. It requires decent micro-management skills, while also bringing all your military forces to bear on the problem. Your army is split into 2 groups initially. One by sea, and one by land. It is possible to merge these two forces around the second meditation point, and it can be considered wise to do so, weaving your fleet and cannon galleons to help destroy the buildings on the coast, and deliver the reinforcements in your transport ships. Proceed carefully, don't let your heroes get lured away, or get left behind. If you start going too slow, the enemy (Elite) Rattan Archers really show off how powerful and annoying then can be in this scenario. You need to move quickly. Once you've completed the meditations, things change, incluiding automatic death of Bayinnaung. From here on out, things get a lot easier. You get tons of resources, and all the buildings that you were locked out of are now yours to command. convert a couple of the land based military buildings to create a guard around your remaining land-based hero. Elite skirmisher spam is recommended, with some elephants for a meat shield. Once you've secured your immediate vicinity, and your heroes aren't about to die, spam technologies, and get a massive fleet of galleons and elite cannon galleons. Bomb the coast until there is nothing left, take out those pesky Portuguese (yes, you can convert the feitorias, though with your resources, you shouldn't need to. Build up another army in the south east where you started, and pulverize your foes between the hammer of an elephant army with siege support, and the anvil of your mighty fleet.
Note: Hard mode removes all four Cannon Galleons and three Bombard Cannons. Basically, the player only has two Trebuchets with the land army and two Bombard Cannons with the sea army. A sea invasion toward the second meditation point would then probably be a bit suicidal, but ships are rather cannon-fodder on this map so some nice timing will see the player merging the two armies.
My father did not live to see the conquest of the Rakhine. The doctor claimed the lung sickness took his life, but I know my father. No man who rode a charging elephant into throngs of Shan archers, who stormed the cities of the Thai, or who ruled an empire not seen since the ancient days would die from a mere cough!
No. My father left this world because he chose to. There was only one conquest left worthy of a man like Bayinnaung.
I know legends will be told of him. I know old shamans will tell prophesies. But no deed would match his final act. Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand men is he who would conquer just one – himself.
- Strangely, if Thinga Dathta is killed it will not result in a game-over, as it would for his older brother Nanda. This may be due to Nanda assuming the Burmese throne after his father's death while no official records exist of Thinga after the siege of Mrauk-U.
- Filipe de Brito e Nicote, a French-Portuguese adventurer and Rakhin mercenary, appears in this scenario as a Conquistador hero unit. He would later go on to become governor of Thanlyin and executed by Bayinnaung's grandson King Anaukpetlun some 30 years later.
- In reality, the invasion of Arakan was never carried out due to Bayinnaung's declining health and his armies subsequently withdrew soon after his death.
- The Hints claim that the Portuguese Wonder has strong defensive capabilities (it shoots arrows). This is caused by four Guard Towers placed within its foundation (they are briefly visible when the Wonder is destroyed, and are destroyed with it).
- This is the only campaign scenario in the game in which the closing narration is spoken by a different character than in the opening narration. Because Bayinnaung dies in the middle of the scenario, one of his sons takes over for him during the ending cutscene. In the Definitive Edition, this is presumably Nanda, but in HD, it's one of Bayinnaung's other sons, as Nanda and the closing narrator do not share the same voice.
- Excluding Historical Battles, this is chronologically the latest campaign scenario in the game, being set only two decades before the start of the 17th century.